About Ethno Network

Ethno Network is a vocational organization of women producing traditional handicrafts of modern design and in a luxurious packaging, according to prescribed quality standards. It was established in May 2005, with the help of USAID, in order to preserve old and forgotten handicraft techniques (used in hand-made clothing, souvenirs and household items), and to empower and organize women for market production. The mission of Ethno Network represents a unique initiative that aims to revitalize handicrafts production in Serbia as perspective but underdeveloped entrepreneurial activity that provides ample opportunity for economic empowerment and self-employment of women.

Ethno Network currently carries out activities to preserve the cultural heritage and its work is supported by the ministries of the Republic of Serbia, republic institutions, local governments and international donors. As a national association of handicrafts producers, Ethno Network gathers more than five hundred women from all over Serbia, organized into cooperatives or associations, and focused on creating well-designed and unique products.

Ethno Network has made significant contribution to the promotion of tourism and positive image of Serbia, and its efforts were recognized and appropriately awarded – the most notable is the First prize for ethno- and eco-tourism in the 29th Belgrade Tourism Fair in 2007, in competition with 750 other exhibitors.

Mission and Goals

The mission of Ethno Network is education of women and youth to engage in professional and market-oriented production of handicrafts. In order to preserve traditional techniques and the cultural heritage of Serbia, Ethno Network, in cooperation with relevant state institutions, serves as a source of training, income and technical assistance to producers of handicrafts, developing a line of modern and exclusive products rooted in the Serbian tradition.

  • Preservation of Serbian cultural heritage and traditional techniques in producing handicrafts
  • Increasing knowledge and skills of high number of handicrafts producers, in order to increase quality and sales of traditional Serbian handicrafts
  • Opportunity for self-employment and income generating activities for producers of handicrafts
  • Advocating for tax exemptions, incentives and subsidies for handicrafts producers
  • Enrichment of touristic offer of Serbia through the creation of unique souvenir program
  • Developing a recognized brand and product placement
  • Organization of groups of producers into business entities

Key activities

All the activities and projects of Ethno Network are oriented towards income generation activities for women in rural areas, complemented with improved touristic offer and preservation of Serbia’s cultural heritage. Additional results include reduction of depopulation in rural areas and strengthening the capacity of Ethno Network as a development incubator for the growth of employment in rural areas.

Training for artisans
  • Specialized courses: embroidery, gold thread embroidery, weaving, felting, filet lace-making , knitting and pottery
  • Engaging members of Ethno Network as educators
  • Preservation of traditional techniques to become source of income
  • Transition from amateurs into professional market producers
  • Raising the level of competitiveness of women in the labor market
Public Works
  • Development of professional producers for the market
  • Promotion and preservation of Serbian cultural heritage
  • Delivery of handicrafts produced within the project to the Republic protocol office as representation for the Serbian Government
Licensing workshops in rural areas
  • Setting standards in handicrafts workshops for education in traditional techniques and antique crafts
  • Informal education of handicraft producers primarily in rural areas for entrepreneurship and business development
  • Equipping the workshops which become centers of touristic offer in rural areas and the source of traditional knowledge and values
Juried exhibitions and marketing activities
  • Juried exhibitions of framed miniature motifs in old techniques
  • Awards for outstanding motifs and highly-skilled producers
  • Incentives for women in rural areas to continue improving specialized knowledge and skills
  • Promotional exhibitions, trade fair participation, media promotion and integrated market approach
Тraining and assistance for new members and youth
  • Comprehensive training “Road path to a good product”
  • Background analysis at request of local government – defining pre-conditions for production and sales at the local level
  • Providing training programs with qualified trainers and mentors
  • Long-term assistance by experts, consultants and designers
  • Improving the quality of handicrafts and equipping products for the market
  • Organizing groups into registered businesses
  • Hands-on assistance in marketing and product placement
Ethno Network is working continuously on gathering new members in order to preserve near-forgotten techniques and secure quality and quantity of handicrafts, with the aim of organized promotion and product placement. Ethno Network is synonym for handicrafts that represent a refined blend of traditional techniques and modern design. Handicrafts branded by Ethno Network meet the demand of modern markets, and are used as exclusive business gifts.


  1. Cooperative „Jefimija“, Veliko Gradiste;
  2. Cooperative „Zanart“, Negotin;
  3. Association „Unikat“, Kikinda;
  4. Association „Arhaik“, Bor;
  5. Association „Misija Kreativa “, Kladovo;
  6. Association „Ethno center“, Knjazevac;
  7. Association „Miris zavicaja “, Bela Palanka;
  8. Association „Lenka“, Odzaci;
  9. Association „Gorocvet“, Indjija;
  10. Association „Sremica“, Pecinci;
  11. Association “Panonke”, Pancevo.
  12. Association „Vezilje Osecine“, Osecina.
  13. Association „Vojodjanski Motivi“, Backi Petrovac
  14. Association „Iskon“, Boljevac
  15. Association „Dunavska Golubica“, Golubac
  16. Association „Snovalica“, Donji Dubac, Kaona (Dragacevo)
  17. Association „Aktiv zena Zlakusanke“, Zlakusa
  18. Association „Asocijacija za razvoj Veljko Vlahovic“, Zrejnanin
  19. Association „Etno Rasina“, Krusevac
  20. Association „Aktiv zena Nisa“, Nis
  21. Association „Etno Konac“, Razanj
  22. Association „Etnos“, Sokobanja

Ethno Network is open to introduce new members who share the values and standards of association members.


The development of this website is financed by the EU Delegation. Copyright 2011 Ethno Network